School & Education
K-12 and Post-Secondary
Resources for parents and teachers regarding inclusion in schools. Supportive organisations and school boards. Online school, K-12 and post-secondary resources.
* ONLINE SCHOOL
* KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12
- OTHER PROVINCES
* POST-SECONDARY STUDENT CAMPUS SUPPORTS
* CANADA-WIDE RESOURCES
* US & INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES K-12
Very inclusive online learning. From school-aged to adult learners upgrading. Edmonton-based.
"Ignite Centre for eLearning is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and in fostering a strong community of support.
Diverse Staff – Our teachers, like our students, come from diverse communities, including both visible and non-visible minorities.
Deep subject expertise – Teachers bring a wealth of background in the subjects they teach.
Holistic approach – We believe in teaching to the whole person. Every student learns in the their own way and that they bring strengths to be celebrated within our community. Success looks different for every student.
Learn more about our school staff and Board here.
Ignite Centre for eLearning is a fully-accredited, non-profit school with certificated teachers in Alberta. All teacher instruction follows the Alberta Programs of Study." https://ignitecentre.ca/
KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12
Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC), UBC, Vancouver. 2019.
“In 2019, 281 trans and/or non-binary youth in Alberta took the survey. Of the youth in Alberta who took part in the survey, 16% identified as indigenous and 94% were born in Canada. The majority of trans and/or non-binary youth in Alberta reported that they are living in their felt gender full-time (47%) or part-time (38%). Some youth, however, are never living in their felt gender (15%).”
“The Alberta GSA Network is a collective of resources specific to Alberta K-12 students, teachers, and school staff. The network is organized by the Provincial GSA Coordinator, a position within the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) at the University of Alberta. Development of this website was funded in part by the Government of Alberta.
Our goal is to connect with local organizations, community groups, and schools across Alberta. We hope to create a centralized online space where we can direct people to all of the great resources in Alberta that are available to support learning environments that respect diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions in our schools.“
GSA is a general acronym used for any student-run and teacher-supported school-based club that works to create welcoming, caring, respectful and safe spaces for students of diverse genders and sexual orientations (LGBTQ2S+) and their allies in schools. GSAs are designed to provide a safe space that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging. The purpose of a GSA is for students to meet, do fun activities, socialize and support one another in a way that is inclusive of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, and many other interests.
‘GSA’ began as an acronym meaning “Gay-Straight-Alliance” but now GSA is meant to encompass many club names such as Queer-Straight-Alliance (QSA), Gender & Sexual Orientation Alliance, Pride Clubs, Rainbow Alliances, and many others.“
SOGI = Sexual and Gender Identity
“The AB SOGI Educator Network brings together Alberta educators interested in SOGI-inclusive education. It enables these educators to meet, share resources, co-design programs, and collectively overcome obstacles within and across public school districts, catholic school districts, independent schools and First Nations schools. Members in public school districts gain access to an expansive collection of emerging SOGI tools to test and evolve with their schools. Key tools are then shared with all members as the SOGI Educator Toolkit.”
Ministry of Education main website.
TESA (Trans Equality Society of Alberta) website
Various resources in Alberta on the TESA (Trans Equality Society of Alberta) website under “Institution Resources".
“The following links are for institution resources related to education. Unless otherwise noted, the content of the following links are written from a Canadian perspective. Links to other relevant TESA resources are included at the end of the page, if applicable. NOTE: These resources are provided for information purposes only.”
By Alberta Education
“These guidelines support the creation of welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments that foster diversity and nurture a sense of belonging and a positive sense of self. Their purpose is to enable school authorities to use best practices in creating and supporting learning environments that respect diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.”
Rural Alberta GSA Network
“The Rural Alberta GSA Network is for all GSAs in rural Alberta. This page is run by The altView Foundation for Gender Variant and Sexual Minorities.”
Safe and caring schools
“Legislation and practices to ensure that schools are welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments.”
Edmonton Public Schools.
“Our Division promotes welcoming, inclusive, safe and healthy working and learning environments for everyone, regardless of a person's actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We are proud to be the first school jurisdiction in both Alberta and the Prairies to develop a comprehensive stand-alone policy and administrative regulation to support sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) students, staff and families.
In addition to our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity policy and administrative regulation, we strive to provide sexual and gender minority groups with ongoing opportunities to engage with the school, one another and the community.”
Compiled by Dr. Kristopher Wells (Edmonton Public Schools), Lindy Pratch (Edmonton Public Library), and Dr. Alvin Schrader [Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (ISMSS), University of Alberta]. Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Public Library. Second edn.
SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression) Safer Places Toolkit
By Alberta Health Services. 2019.
”The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity & Expression (SOGIE) Safer Places Toolkit is an introductory and practical tool for all healthcare teams including all employees and physicians, volunteers and contracted service providers….. The goal of the toolkit is to increase awareness, encourage self-reflection and build skills to create more welcoming and safer care for LGBTQ2S+ people and their families.”
Edmonton Public Schools
“Alberta Education recently created guidelines to help school districts support and protect LGBTQ students, staff and families. Edmonton Public Schools has had a policy in place since 2011, so very little will change about the day-to-day activity in our schools.”
Trans inclusion in Alberta schools: FACT PAGE
A TESA archived document. Refer to “Education” page for updated information.
“In Alberta, the public education system includes public, separate, and francophone schools. Parents may also choose alternate education options such as private schools, home schools, charter schools, and others. This page includes an overview of: expectations of Alberta Education (Ministry of Education) / expectations of teaching professionals / expectations of equality rights / a comprehensive listing of all school boards and their respective sexual and gender minority policies”
Call the Bullying Helpline 1-888-456-2323 (24 hours, toll-free in Alberta).
Alberta Government. Fact sheet.
“Transphobia and homophobia often exist hand-in-hand. Transphobic and anti-gay slurs, and trans-bashing are all forms of bullying. Such discrimination is a violation of human rights. In fact, the police may consider transphobic bullying to be a hate incident, which is against the law. If you’re being bullied or if you’ve witnessed such transphobic bullying and didn’t know how to respond, then this fact sheet is for you.”
Rainbow classroom toolkit
By Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife. 2017. Booklet.
“Tips for making your classroom a more equitable space for LGBTQ+ students”
Degendering your language: An infographic. By Clio Hartzer. Being’ Enby blog. Jan 2021. (US)
“I designed this for teachers who prefer a visual summary of the key ideas on degendering language. I also have longer text-based pieces for those who want more details: Non-binary students: Non-binary ‘they’ and style guides, and Non-binary students and pronouns.” Clio is a non-binary teacher and blogger.
Graphic is named “A teacher’s guide to trans-friendly pronouns: Why is this important?”
By Clio Hartzer. Being’ Enby blog. Infographic. 2021. (US)
“I designed this for teachers who prefer a visual summary of the key ideas on pronoun use for transgender and nonbinary students. I also have longer text-based pieces for those who want more details: 'Non-binary students: Non-binary ‘they’ and style guides', and 'Non-binary students and pronouns.' " Clio is a non-binary teacher and blogger.
OTHER CANADIAN SOURCES
Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC), UBC, Vancouver, 2019.
“Developed in consultation with trans and/or non-binary advisory groups across Canada, recommendations to improve the health and well-being of trans and/or non-binary youth included inclusive and comprehensive sex education, safer washrooms and public spaces, and decreasing health disparities between provinces.”
SARAVYC is an international, multi-disciplinary, award-winning team that studies how resilience, stigma, discrimination, violence, and trauma affect young people’s health.
By Action Canada. Graphic/chart. Updated Mar 2019. (Canada)
"Gender’s not binary, it’s also not a spectrum. Allow students to explore gender through endless possibilities in the Gender Galaxy, just one of the hundreds of activities you’ll find in Beyond the Basics!"
By Egale Canada. Toronto, ON
"You have just found out that a transgender student will be transitioning to affirm their gender identity in your class. You want to prepare your students for this transition, and do your best to minimize potential bullying and harassment, as well as equip classmates to be friends and allies.
So, what do you need to consider in having this conversation with your class?
The following document is meant to assist school staff with key considerations and language to approach a conversation regarding the upcoming transition of a trans classmate."
Egale Canada Human Rights Trust is Canada’s only national charity promoting LGBT human rights through research, education and community engagement.
Public Health Agency of Canada.
“This document, Questions & Answers: Gender Identity in Schools, is intended to address the most commonly asked questions regarding the gender identity of youth in school settings. The goal of this resource is to assist educators, curriculum and program planners, school administrators, policy-makers and health professionals in the creation of supportive and healthy school environments for youth struggling with issues of gender identity.”
By T. Peter, C.P. Campbell and C. Taylor in partnership with Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, Toronto, ON. 2021.
By Kristopher Wells, Gayle Roberts and Carol Allan. Canadian Teachers’ Federation. 2012.
NOTE: A bit dated now in language and terminology, but still has some great advice.
“This current guidebook is intended to increase professional knowledge, understanding, and sensitivity around transgender and transsexual students who research indicates are amongst the most at-risk groups of students for bullying, discrimination, and violence in our schools today. The authors write with great skill and compassion as they recognize the important and life-changing role that inclusive educational environments can play in building the personal resilience of (trans) students and their families. No child should go to school in fear. Wells, Roberts, and Allan compel us to question our taken-for-granted practices and to open up our hearts and minds to ensure that a truly inclusive education becomes a practice of freedom, liberation, and hope that we live out everyday in our classrooms and schools across the nation.”
CAMPUS SUPPORTS IN ALBERTA
Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity (MacEwan University)
“The Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity supports research, teaching and service work related to sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression on campus and in the community. Supported by the Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Issues, we develop inclusive and responsive policies, support evidence-informed practices and encourage the full and equitable participation of sexual and gender minorities on campus and in society.
We serve all members of the MacEwan community—students, faculty and staff. We can answer your questions about sexual and gender minority issues and support your ideas for initiatives that increase knowledge about and bring visibility to the LGBTQ2S+ community“
InQueeries (MacEwan University)
“Celebrating diversity in all its forms, InQueeries is MacEwan University’s LGBTQIA2S+ Group and Pride Alliance!”
"Rainbow Clinic: support for the primary care needs of our LGBTQ patients in a supportive, welcoming environment. *For MacEwan and Existing Patients*"
The Landing (University of Alberta)
“The Landing is a Students’ Union service at the University of Alberta main campus that offers support for gender and sexual diversity. We strive to promote gender equity on a broad scale, and advocate for the safety and acceptance of individuals of all genders and sexualities in campus life. As part of this mandate, we support LGBTQ2S+ communities and individuals as well as their supporters, friends, family and loved ones.”
Outreach (University of Alberta)
“OUTreach is the University of Alberta’s LGBTQ+ and Allied Social Group. We strive to provide a safer, welcoming space for anyone who considers themselves a part of, or an ally to, the LGBTQ+ community. We invite everyone (whether you’re an Edmonton community member or U of A student/staff/alumni) to join us for events, weekly meetings, and socials throughout the year!”
Pride at NAIT
“The student-organized Pride at NAIT club is a great opportunity for students to join an 2SLGBTQ2IA+ community at NAIT! Potential opportunities for volunteering, sharing and education are also available through the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and NAIT keeps a directory of broader community 2SLGBTQIA+ resources. “
Safe Spaces (NAIT)
At NAIT, everyone deserves to feel safe. Our Safe Spaces initiative fosters inclusive spaces and promotes equitable practices for students who are Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, non-binary, and gender non-conforming (2SLGBTQIA+). Look for Safe Spaces stickers around campus to identify NAIT offices and staff who have specialized training in creating safe spaces for 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
Boy Valley College – BVC Pride
“Bow Valley College is committed to providing an inclusive community that values and respects its faculty, staff, and students.”
Bow Valley College
LGBTQ2S+ supports, services, and resources
“Navigating your communities and the internet for support, allyship, and information can be challenging. We have compiled a list of LGBTQ2S+ resources to help direct you.”
Mount Royal University– Pride Centre
“The Pride Centre is a queer-positive, all gender-inclusive, safer space in which students explore gender and sexual identity. The Pride Centre is a space for students to create inclusive community across the gender and sexuality spectrum, find support for themselves and support their gender and sexually diverse peers and enhance everyone’s learning about gender and sexual diversity.”
Pride at SAIT
“SAIT is a diverse campus and we are committed to providing an inclusive place to work and study. We will continue to enhance resources for our LGBTQ2+ community and effect positive change.
University of Calgary – Queers on Campus
“We are queer people and allies working together to encourage and promote understanding and acceptance of queer people within the greater student, faculty, and staff community at the University of Calgary. We, at Queers on Campus, understand queer to include all expressions of sexual and gender diversity and welcome anyone who identifies with or who is allied with the queer community.”
PHYSICAL HEALTH & EDUCATION (PHE-3PW) Canada
Physical Health & Education (PHE-EPS) Canada. 2021.
SPIRIT is a pilot project focused on building knowledge, capacity, and understanding to increase accessibility and engagement for 2SLGBTQ+ students in school-based physical activity and sport programs.
PHE CANADA GUIDEBOOK:
Physical Health & Education (PHE-EPS) Canada. Oct 2021.
"PHE Canada worked with 2SLGBTQ+ researchers, 2SLGBTQ+ youth, and 2SLGBTQ+ allies to research, develop, and review the 2SLGBTQ+ Inclusion in School-Based Physical Activity Programs Guidebook.
The Guidebook outlines some of the identified barriers for 2SLGBTQ+ student participation in school-based physical activity and provides recommendations for educators to approach and address these challenges. Educators and school administrators can utilize this resource to spark positive change, combat discrimination, and educate staff and students about the importance of fostering positive, safe, inclusive spaces for physical activity.
Research shows that many gender and sexually diverse students have negative experiences engaging in physical and health education, which impacts their lifelong health and well-being.
PHE Canada worked with Dr. Travers at Simon Fraser University, Sonali (Alyy) Patel, a 2SLGBTQ+ intersectionality researcher, and 2SLGBTQ+ youth and allies to research, review, and recommend strategies to embed inclusive programming practices and better support gender and sexually diverse students in your classroom.
The guidebook, poster, and literature review ...outline the barriers for 2SLGBTQ+ student participation in school-based physical activity and provide recommendations for educators to approach and address these challenges. Educators and school administrators can utilize these resources to spark positive change, combat discrimination, and educate staff and students about the importance of fostering positive, safe, inclusive spaces for physical activity. Download the guidebook, poster, and literature review for ideas to make your classroom, school, or team a more inclusive environment."
PHE CANADA VIDEO:
Physical Health & Education (PHE-EPS) Canada. YouTube video. Oct 13, 2021.
”The SPIRIT project is a pilot project focused on building knowledge, capacity, and understanding to increase accessibility and engagement for 2SLGBTQ+ students in school-based physical activity. With the support of Sport Canada, we created this video to provide an overview of some of the barriers that students in the 2SLGBTQ+ community face when participating in school-based physical activity. Recommendations for addressing these barriers are also provided in order to support educators in creating and maintaining inclusive spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ students. For more information, visit: https://phecanada.ca/genderequity “
GRAPHIC CREDIT: GLSEN.ORG
US & INTERNATIONAL
KINDERGARTEN to GRADE 12
Does not apply "legally" in Alberta, but lots of good information for working with schools.
Advice for transgender and non-binary students heading back to school
By HRC (Human Rights Foundation). 2018.
"We asked some of our trans and gender-expansive colleagues here at HRC to help out and provide some advice to trans and non-binary students as they get ready to head back to their classrooms."
By Vanessa Lee Nic. Raising a Trans Child blog post. May 3, 2020.
"Bullying is not a rite of passage. Suffering in these formative preteen years is not a rite of passage. We need to change the narrative."
By Clio Hartzer. Blog.
Clio is a non-binary teacher and a blogger. They blog on various topics including for teachers working with gender-diverse students. See 2 of Clio's infographics on this page. https://medium.com/bein-enby
Creating gender inclusive schools
Gender Spectrum website. Film, 21 minutes. (US)
“What happens when you bring gender training to a public elementary school?
Produced by the HRC Foundation (Human Rights Campaign). (US)
"When children ask questions about LGBTQ+ words, it is often best to offer simple and direct answers. You might choose to answer a student’s question with another question to figure out what they are really asking -- is it about name-calling, a classmate’s two dads or something they saw on the internet. Listening first helps you respond. Here are a few items to keep in mind when defining terms for children..."
Gender Spectrum website. Groups and Resources. (US)
Numerous articles on schools and gender expansive students.
Rachel Cunning. Learning for Justice. 2018. (US)
"Language classrooms allow students to grapple with how gender affects their understanding of the world, but they also allow teachers to engender their own classrooms as inclusive and safe places for all students."
By Clio Corvid. Being 'Enby blog post. Aug 2021.
"...I laud the effort of any cisgender, heterosexual teacher who wants to genuinely support their LGBTQIA students. Take this and all my writings for teachers in the spirit of wanting to help you do that in the most helpful way possible." Clio is a non-binary teacher and a blogger.
Gender Spectrum website. (US)
“Gender inclusive schools ask: ‘How are we accounting for the unique gender of every student?'”
Has various products for use in schools to indicate affirming staff and/or school.
"Being kind is powerful. Show your kindness towards LGBTQ+ students with one of our Safe Educator products."
Initial school meeting
Parenting Resources. Gender Spectrum website. (US)
“Whether you are new to a school or returning, forming a positive relationship with school administrators and staff is vital to the safety and success of your gender-expansive child. An important first step is to ask for a meeting with the school administration to discuss your child’s needs and the school’s practices and policies. Be sure to approach the school as partners, not as adversaries. Assume they have positive intentions — the vast majority of educators are interested in the well-being of their students, but they may have little or no training about working with gender-expansive children.”
Making schools safer for LGBTQ+ students: Tips and resources
Real Mama Bears. 2021. (US)
“My hope is that the information, material and resouces provided will be used to inspire everyday people like myself to talk about and push to make schools safer and fully inclusive for LGBTQ+ students. You can find more comprehensive programs out there but I wanted to create something basic that the average person could easily use to start the process of making positive changes in the schools in their area.”
Model local education agency policy on transgender and nonbinary students
By GLSEN and National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). Rev Oct 2020. (US)
“GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students” (US).
By Clio Hartzer. Being’ Enby blog. Oct 2020
“Thank you for taking the time to read what follows. For many people, the increasing visibility of non-binary persons and the accompanying language can seem overwhelming. However, when you help create a climate that respects marginalized students, studies have shown that all students feel safer and respected.”
Ready, set, respect! GLSEN’s elementary school toolkit
By GLSEN. 2016. (US)
“A toolkit such as this helps educators get ready to deliver inclusive, diversity-focused lessons and set their classrooms and students up for learning in an environment of respect. GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students”.
By D.M. Maynard. Jan 20, 2021. Book. (US)
"A reflective workbook aimed at teachers and support staff of students who are transitioning or questioning their gender. This book provides insights, practical tools, and opportunities for self-reflection. It discusses the unique needs of teachers and schools as they navigate supporting the gender journeys of their transgender, non-binary, or gender questioning students by enabling staff to identify, understand, and incorporate the needs of this population.
The chapters of this essential resource offer guidance on how to implement appropriate school policies and inclusive curriculum, learn topical terminology, address bullying, and develop bathroom guidelines. This book will help school staff ensure that students feel safe, included, and respected, while creating a judgment-free space for teachers, support staff, and administrators'' own self-exploration as they embark on the process of acquiring new and relevant information. Personal anecdotes from real-life educational experiences heighten awareness and perspective, alongside interactive activities, enjoyable quizzes, answers to common questions, and positive affirmations."
D. M. Maynard has been an educator in New York for more than thirty years and has used her expertise in teaching to create workshops and workbooks. She presents internationally on the needs of partners, parents, and families of trans individuals and lives in New York.
Responding to concerns: Teaching about gender (“Educator Resources”)
Gender Spectrum website. (US)
“You can make a difference for all of your students by being intentional in the ways you approach teaching about gender.”
Schools in transition: A guide for supporting transgender students in K-12 schools
By Human Rights Campaign (HRC), American Civil Liberties Union, Gender Spectrum, et al. (US)
“Rather than a static set of recommendations and formulas, this guide responds to the dynamics that affect a transgender student’s experiences in school. The guide is geared toward the needs of all students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, and incorporates distinctions and recommendations based on the specific ages and stages of students’ development.”
Board Transforming Family. Aug 3, 2021. (US)
”Using the Gender Support Plan. CASE STUDY: Glendale Unified School District, featuring Dr. Kelly King, Assistant Superintendent. A Gender Support Plan (GSP) is an online, fillable form that you can save, share, and download. School staff, caregivers, and the student can work together to complete the GSP. Ideally, each team member will spend time filling out the various sections to the best of their ability and then come together to review sections and confirm shared agreements about using the plan. Hosted by Gender Spectrum, this online tool is an excellent way for your student to set ideal parameters for success and affirmation.”
[Click HERE to go to "Using the Gender Support Plan" by Gender Spectrum]
Student and GSA resources
By GLSEN. (US)
“GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. We welcome any and all individuals as members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and/or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools. “GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.”
By Alex Myers, Jun 2021.
“Supporting Transgender Students is a guide to help schools learn the basics of what gender is and why it matters in education. Drawing on the author's 25 years of experience working with schools and transgender students, this book considers how transgender and gender non-conforming youth experience the classroom, the playing field, and other school contexts. (This book) provides a clear roadmap and practical examples for how to take action in your school to effect change and create a gender inclusive community.”
Presented by GLSEN, MAP, and National Center for Transgender Equality.
Includes US statistics on discrimination within schools.
“Transgender students are part of our school communities and, like other students, they’re there to learn, graduate and prepare for their future. That means they need to be able to attend school and be safe, respected, and use the school facilities, such as restrooms, that match the gender they live every day without being singled out for discrimination and harassment."
Gender Spectrum. (US)
“The Gender Support Plan is a detailed form to help you create a shared understanding among school staff, parents and a student about the ways in which the student’s authentic gender will be accounted for and supported at school.
"Creating safe and welcoming schools. HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is the most comprehensive bias-based bullying prevention program in the nation to provide LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive professional development training, lesson plans, booklists and resources specifically designed for educators and youth-serving professionals. Our program uses an intersectional, anti-racist lens dedicated to actionable policies and practices. We uplift school communities with critical tools to embrace family diversity, create LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students."
Gender Spectrum. Educator Resources. (US)
“Ideas about gender are evolving – from toys to clothing to online spaces, gender lines are being blurred as never before. When schools work intentionally to create more gender inclusive conditions, they not only establish a greater sense of acceptance for transgender and other gender diverse students, they communicate to the entire community that whatever one’s gender experience look like, it will be accepted.”
US & INTERNATIONAL
Michigan State University (MSU).
"This infographic details some key steps that psychology graduate programs can take to become more inclusive spaces for non-binary graduate students! "
This infographic: https://create.piktochart.com/output/38939812-non-binary-students
Trans-ilience infographics page: https://www.trans-ilience.com/infographics